Au Pair Questions

10 Questions You Should Ask a Prospective Au Pair

When looking to hire an au pair, there a host of questions that you need to ask. After all, they will be taking care of you most precious assets — your children. While some questions are more important than others, there are 10 that should never be overlooked when interviewing an au pair.

  1. Ask potential au pairs how long they have been taking care of children. This question encompasses their caregiving experience they’ve had in the past.
  2. What makes you feel you’re a responsible caregiver? This question will let you know how comfortable they’ll be with the challenging aspects of caring for children.
  3. What would you do if there was an emergency? Ask them if they’ve ever been in an emergency situation before and how they handled it — were they level-headed? This will show how they work under a stressful situation. You don’t want an au pair who will panic at the first sign of trouble.
  4. Ask them to give you some examples of challenging or difficult situations they’ve dealt with in their child care past — such as disciplining a child, picky eaters, etc. This can give you insight into their disciplining techniques as well.
  5. Why do you think you’d be the best candidate for this au pair position?
  6. Are you a smoker? Most parents do not want a smoker, even if they don’t smoke around the children. Especially if they are living in your home.
  7. Are you certified in CPR and/or first aid? If not, would they be willing to take a course?
  8. Do you have a US or international driver’s license?
  9. Ask them to tell you about their most recent childcare experience and why it ended. This will tell you if they parted ways amicably with their previous employer. Ask for references.
  10. Ask about their childhood, how they were raised and what their relationship with their family is like — this will give you a sense of the au pair’s family dynamic and values.

In addition to these important questions, be sure to ask about their need for time off for vacation or other prior engagements and make sure that her immunizations are up to date and if she has any serious health issues. If they are foreign, ask if they have a green card or are legally able to work in the country and if they are comfortable living in your home.

The interview portion is quite possibly the most vital stage of an au pair and host parents relationship. If you don’t click with the candidate during the interview process, even if they are a perfect match on paper for your family’s needs, you won’t to hire them to care for your children. Since the interview is so significant, be sure to prepare the questions you want answered before the interview. Be sure to cover all of your bases — you can’t ask too much, and if they’re seem uncomfortable answering in-depth questions, they probably won’t meet your au pair requirements.